A comparative analysis of two online videoconferencing initiatives for conversational practice with native speakers

Document Type


Date of Original Version



This chapter describes and comparatively analyzes two online videoconferencing initiatives carried out in Spanish courses at the University of Rhode Island (URI), grounding the analysis in current Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL), telecollaboration, and language pedagogy research. The study analyzes the similarities and differences between the two experiments and the two courses in which they were integrated, underscoring limitations faced in the planning and implementation of both programs as well as strategies used to overcome challenges and actively engage learners in meaningful and productive conversation practice with native speakers of their L2. Using a multifaceted theoretical framework, the chapter situates these initiatives both in the unique contexts of the courses in which they were integrated, as well as in the broader context of large-scale programmatic goals. The study provides an outline and analysis of the specific features of each of the two experiments in order to illustrate the advantages that telecommunication tools and design options may offer in different settings. The primary purpose of the chapter is to underscore the benefits and challenges associated with the design and implementation of online interpersonal communication initiatives. The goal is to help language educators make well-informed decisions as to which tool and design features will be most useful toward achieving concrete learning outcomes in particular learning contexts.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Teaching Language and Teaching Literature in Virtual Environments